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Sac Valley CNPS hosts online plant sale

Hundreds of native plants available for contactless pickup

Tubular pink flowers on a vining plant
Hairy honeysuckle ( Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans ) is among the native plants offered during the Sac Valley CNPS chapter's online fall sale. (Photo courtesy Sac Valley CNPS)

Editor's note: The Sac Valley sale webpage Monday morning indicated that the online scheduler was malfunctioning Sunday afternoon, so the sale link had been taken down. Shoppers are advised to check back on its status Monday afternoon.

Fall is for planting – even during a pandemic! Usually, September is packed with sales as local gardeners gear up to put more plants into the ground. These sales also are major fundraisers for gardening groups and clubs. But how do you hold a big gardening event while protecting customers? Go virtual!

That’s what the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society did. Due to COVID restrictions, the chapter moved its popular Fall Native Plant Sale online. The sale is going on now through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Including a wide variety of perennials and other popular natives, hundreds of plants are available. To order and to see the sale catalog, go to: . Be sure to follow the instructions on the "How to order plants" link . Other CNPS chapters are using the same format, and Sacramento sale customers need to click on plants with "Sac Valley" next to the size option.

Pickups will be all pre-scheduled. Time slots are noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27.

Customers will drive up to Soil Born Farms, home to the chapter’s Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery, at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. Volunteers will have their orders waiting for contact-less pickup.

“The Plant Sale pickup will be a very choreographed event with good signage and masked, helpful, volunteers who will load your purchases,” says the SacValley webpage, “so our shoppers don't get out of their vehicles! Please wear a mask if you roll down your window.”

The chapter hosted its spring plant sale using this format and sold about 1,200 plants. Proceeds from that sale went towards a $10,000 donation by the chapter to organizations that provide food or assistance to those in need during the coronavirus crisis, according to the chapter’s website.

In addition to picking up plants, customers are encouraged to drop off empty black 1-gallon pots. The nursery will sterilize the pots and reuse them.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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